Clint Frazier had tweeted just seven times and followed only three others on the social media website.
Yet, the newest Indians prospect ought to experience a big bump in followers and should go over 3,000 after becoming the fifth overall selection in the 2013 MLB Draft a little after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night.
When the Indians picked the red-headed Georgia high school outfielder in the first round, Frazier’s Twitter account @cjf19 was being followed by 2,896 people.
A significant portion of that total had come from Frazier’s recent cover story in Baseball America’s Annual Draft Preview. Its scouting report included this summary: “While modestly sized, Frazier has fast-twitch athleticism and strength in his hands, wrists and forearms. He generates tremendous bat speed and plus-plus raw power that should play at any level. He hits ’em far and hits homers with regularity.”
Just minutes after the 6-foot-1 Frazier was selected, a couple of Indians players began tweeting and texting their congratulations in an effort to welcome him to the organization.
“Guess I’ll have to check my Twitter by the end of the night,” Frazier, 18, said with a laugh. He said that he “will definitely” sign with the Indians.
A product of Loganville High School, he was recently honored as the Gatorade National Player of the Year. Frazier, who signed a national letter of intent with the University of Georgia, hit .484 with 17 home runs and 45 RBI in 32 games as a senior with a simple offensive approach.
“I just go up there and try to hit the first pitch that’s in the strike zone,” he said.
Frazier will take that approach with him immediately to the professional level. Despite admitting he didn’t know very much about the Indians, he added: “I can promise you that at the end of the night, I will.”
With such a high pick on the first night of the draft that continues for two more days, the Indians had the opportunity to do their fair share of scouting on Frazier. Tribe scouting director Brad Grant said the first four picks fell just about as expected.
“He has an impact bat with impact bat speed,” Grant said. “It’s a really loose whippy-fast bat. Not only can he hit, he generates unbelievable power. It’s easy, raw power that translates into the game as he’s able to loft balls out to all fields.”
Frazier grew up in the hotbed of Georgia prep baseball not as an Atlanta Braves fan, but instead a Philadelphia Phillies fan, thanks to his appreciation for slugger Ryan Howard. Since being converted to an outfielder two years ago, he admitted to spending time more recently following Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.
“I’m still new to the position, so I have a long way to go,” said Frazier, who moved from third base to center field following his sophomore season. “But I’m definitely comfortable with it.”
The Indians appear to be comfortable enough with the progress he’s made in the outfield as well.
“We envision him staying in center field in the long term,” said Grant, who noted that Frazier is a plus runner with plus speed.
When Frazier was finished with a handful of media obligations about an hour after hearing his name called, he finally got around to sending out that eighth tweet. It read simply: “I’m officially a part of the Cleveland @Indians !!”
Prior to the Indians’ selection, the Houston Astros selected Stanford pitcher Mark Appel. The Chicago Cubs took University of San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant, who led all Division I hitters with 31 home runs this season, with the second pick. The Colorado Rockies then drafted Oklahoma right-handed pitcher Jonathan Gray and the Minnesota Twins took Texas high school pitcher Kohl Stewart.
Stephanie Storm can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SStormABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/sports.abj.